Blog

Why Size Doesn’t Matter

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I have been blessed during the past 43 years to work in amazing school districts of all sizes—one as small as 600 students to one as large as 37,000 students. Time after time, school after school, district after district, we have learned size simply doesn’t matter for four main reasons. A highly functioning PLC continually examines and improves its capacity through four main elements: Organization, Execution, Persistence, and Celebration. Read more

The Moment Everything Changes

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The first of the four critical questions of a Professional Learning Community process is, what is it we want our students to learn? This question underscores the need for teacher teams to identify . . . Read more

Put Your Money Where Your Maxim Is: “Investing” in PLCs at the District Level

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Dictionary.com defines maxim as “a general truth or principle” or “a rule of conduct.” A few years ago when I was a high school principal leading the implementation of a PLC . . . Read more

Sustaining and Maintaining: No One Answer

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Dear School Administrators, A question often asked during professional development workshops on professional learning communities is: “How do we sustain the PLC process from one year to . . . Read more

Revisit, Reflect, and Renew

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After 45 years of teaching, I made the decision last summer to retire. After a couple of months of not setting the alarm, drinking coffee into the late morning, and staying up late, I began to . . . Read more

Channels and Eddies: Getting Students Downstream

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We can consider the way our students have learned over the first half of the school year as sort of river: a river’s water moves in a powerful way in its deepest parts, but at the . . . Read more

The Important Work of Self-Monitoring by PLC Teams

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In an effective professional learning community, all teachers take collective responsibility for ensuring all their students learn essential knowledge and skills. To achieve this goal, PLC team . . . Read more

Enhancing the Professional Learning Community Process: A Series of Tweaks

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Are teams getting their desired results? This question resonates with most teachers and principals each week as they work within their collaborative teams. All too often when asked about the PLC . . . Read more

The Law of the Vital Few

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When Robert J. Marzano conducted a review of the average state or provincial curriculum, he confirmed what teachers already knew: it is not possible to teach all curricular outcomes to every child . . . Read more

Peers Helping Peers: An Update

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In my previous post, I described a new program that I and others are working on to improve the performance of students who struggled last year as freshmen, and I said I would report back when we . . . Read more

What Does It Mean to Be a Viking?

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Dave Wedlock's "What Does It Mean to Be a Viking? Collaboration and the Commitment to Continous Improvement as Core Values" is reposted here with permission from the author. In a . . . Read more

Going Global?

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Going global, we have jumped on the high-speed Internet highway with iPads, laptops, and handheld devices. We have powered up with the latest and greatest apps, cool web resources, and let’s . . . Read more

Peers Helping Peers

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Five summers ago, my professional life was permanently changed when I attended my first PLC conference. I frankly went with an attitude of “here we go again . . . ,” having been . . . Read more

Does "All" Really Mean All?

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I have had the privilege of working with staff in numerous schools and districts who are doing incredible work in professional learning communities with the hope of improving outcomes for all of . . . Read more

Dealing With an Ineffective Team Leader

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In Leaders of Learning, Richard DuFour and Robert J. Marzano point out that selecting and training teacher team leaders is one of the most important tasks that a principal must perform in order to . . . Read more